October 29, 2016

I'm thinking this video got lost last night in the post You Know "California" Is A Spanish Word, Right? so... I decided to feature it again this morning. The point is still the same: Trump and Triumpism is encouraging a huge surge in Latino voter participation-- 1,960.060 newly registered Latino voters in California alone,unprecedented numbers of early vote by mail ballots already cast in Hispanic neighborhoods... and major trouble for entrenched Republican congressional incumbents like Jeff Denham, Darrell Issa, Steve Knight, David Valadao, maybe even Kevin McCarthy! To put 1,960.060 newly registered Latino voters into some kind of perspective, that's around the same number of people who voted for Obama and Romney combined in states like South Carolina, Alabama and Louisiana. It's morethan the total number of 2012 presidential votes in plenty of states... like

• New Hampshire- 799,479
• Mississippi- 693,582
• Iowa- 1,553,161
• Kentucky- 766,560
• Maine- 693,582
• Connecticut- 1,539,975
• Idaho- 633,698
• Kansas- 1,133,360

1,960.060 is more than the number of people who voted for Romney in Indiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, or Colorado and more that Obama's total vote in Georgia in 2012. It's more than the number of people who voted in total for George W. Bush, Al Gore, John Kerry, Barack Obama, John McCain and Mitt Romney combined in the state of Delaware. And 1,960.060 is more votes than all 4 of Nevada's members of Congress got in 2014... combined:

• Dina Titus- 45,643
• Mark Amodei- 122,402
• Joe Heck- 88,528
• Cresent Hardy- 63,466

And that's just newly registered Latinos in California alone since Trump came down that escalator at Trump Tower. The 2 Florida counties with the highest share of Latino voters, Miami-Dade and Osceola, are outpacing the rest of the state in terms of early voting-- 75% more in Miami-Dade and 74% more in Osceola. This is huge for Democrats up and down the ballot in two of the most important counties in the biggest prize of all the swing states! Early voting from Latinos in Bexar and Travis counties in Texas is the highest anyone remembers. Hillary is going to crush Trump in the center of Texas-- and 20 year veteran congressman-- and Congress' #1 Climate denier-- Lamar Smith, could get swept away by an under-financed Berniecrat, Tom Wakely, in TX-21, a candidate so not on the DCCC's map that they never once returned a phone call from him after he won the primary against some conservative Democrat there.

The 11 year old actress in the video, Sarai Gonzalez lives in Green Brook, New Jersey. The NY Times described her as "he nerdy, round and confident tween who confronts bullies on the streets of Brooklyn in the video for "Soy Yo" or "That’s Me," by the Colombian group Bomba Estéreo. If you’re Latina, chances are you’ve already seen her.

“Soy Yo” seemed to appear at precisely the right moment-- a defiant, and adorable, rebuke to the anti-Latino rhetoric of the Trump campaign, and haters in general. “Don’t worry if they don’t accept you,” goes the song’s chorus, in Spanish. “If they criticize you, just say, ‘That’s me.’ ”

The video resonated particularly with Latinas. Rarely in American life, especially in an era of ugly debates over immigrants, had popular culture created a young, brown, working-class character so heroic, free of victimhood, full of straight-up dignity.

Sarai made Latinas visible. Real Latinas. And they responded, in a chorus of “yes, that’s me.”

“It’s a reminder that Latinos are part of American life, American space is Latino space,” said María Elena Cepeda, who studies Latino representations in popular culture and teaches at Williams College. “Right now, that is a pretty transgressive statement.”

For Sarai, the video became like a home movie forever on repeat. “My mom was always checking it,” Sarai said. “My dad was playing it when he was washing clothes."

And yesterday NBC News reported that "the young Latina who stole the show in Bomba Estéreo's music video for "Soy Yo" is back with a message for Hispanics: vote. Sarai Gonzalez, of central New Jersey, replete with oversized glasses, braids, dance moves and overalls that made her a social media sensation, is the star of a new video campaign paid for by the liberal group People For the American Way to inspire more Latinos to vote in the coming elections. In the video she serves as a Latina pied piper to get her family off the couch and neighbors and friends out of homes and yards to lead them to the voting booth."

And this People for the American Way music video isn't the only effort helping channel Latino indignation and furry at Trump's racism into the 2016 election.

The ad is part of a flurry of activities by Democrat and liberal groups targeting English-and Spanish-speaking and bilingual Latinos as early voting continues and the days tick down to Election Day, Nov. 8.

Service Employees International Union/iAmerica Action, working with the pro-Clinton PAC Priorities USA, released an ad to run on cable on Spanish language stations Univision, Telemundo, Estrella and Mundo Max. The $3 million ad featuring a young boy praying that his parents vote against Donald Trump started Friday and is expected to run through the election.

The Clinton campaign announced that Jennifer Lopez plans a free performance in Miami with Marc Antony and Cuban reggaeton duo Gente de Zona and DJ Extreme to encourage early voting and voting on Election Day for Clinton. Lopez endorsed Clinton in April 2015.

Not all activity is focused on the presidential race. The American Federation of Teachers' political action committee re-released a digital ad criticizing Sen. Marco Rubio, who bowed out of the presidential race after losing his home state of Florida but is seeking re-election to the Senate. The digital ad, which AFT said costs five figures and was paid for by AFT Solidarity PAC, criticizes Rubio's response to the Puerto Rico fiscal crisis. A previous report had put the cost at $135,000.

The add previously ran for two weeks in September. Kombiz Lavasanay, a director at AFT, said the ad was successful and so is being used again and will be delivered to Puerto Ricans in Florida and run through the election on various web sites. The group purchased space on the sites where the ad will run, he said. Rubio has done better than Trump with Latinos in Florida.

Meanwhile, Latino Victory Project, a national group founded by actress Eva Longoria and businessman Henry Muñoz, announced it was investing $100,000 to pay for 92,000 calls to be made to Latinos ton behalf of Catherine Cortez Masto, the Nevada attorney general who hopes to fill the seat now held by Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, who is retiring. Winning the seat could help return Democrats to control of the Senate, but Republican Joe Heck has been mounting a tough challenge.

People for the American Way also released an television ad to reach Spanish-speaking Latinos in North Carolina. The ad targets Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., and his support of Donald Trump. As North Carolina has become more important in the presidential election, its Latino voters-- 248,000 who are eligible to vote-- are getting more attention.

Polls have shown overwhelming support by Latinos for Clinton and Democrats are hoping it will help win some elections lower on the ballot.

Watch the video again and please consider contributing to Doug Applegate, Ruben Kihuen, Alina Valdes, Tom Wakely and DuWayne Gregory, the progressive opponents, respectively, of Trump-enablers Darrell Issa, Cresent Hardy, the shameful and disgraced Mario Diaz-Balart, Lamar Smith and Peter King.

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